Drag-n in the 50s

Sunday, Sunday, Sundaaaay!

Pulling into New England Dragway on this beautiful Sunday morning, my eyes are drawn to the cars just leaving the starting line with their cloud of burning rubber smoke being swept away by the slight breeze towards the spectators. I say to myself, “This is going to be a good day”. Walking through the staging lanes we see a few slingshot dragsters that are in line to run in the Nostalgia class which only allowed Flathead V8’s, in-line four and six cylinder engines pre 1969. Slingshot dragsters have such a Nostalgic vibe, their high compression and thumping cam help squeeze all the potential horsepower out of the injected engine. There isn’t much to a slingshot dragster the chassis with steering, the hopped up engine which emits scorching exhaust fumes through headers into the driver’s face, usually a glide transmission or in some cases a four speed manual then the rearend. The driver sits directly behind the engine, which leaves him nowhere else to sit but actually straddling the rearend’s center section. One of the safety features for the driver is the custom half inch steel plate that is formed and welded on the pumpkin between the driver’s legs just in case he grenades the rearend.


Approaching the starting line is an A/A slingshot named King & Marshall. The power from the blown injected Hemi can be felt in the ground and in my body. The driver is wearing a vintage gas mask and scalloped 3/4 helmet which completes the nostalgic look. The pilot launched the vintage dragster from the waterbox doing his burnout to warm the tires for traction, the entire crowd is in awe of the intense power of the vintage rail. When the driver is ready to launch the dragster you can feel the adrenaline rushing from the driver into you. Yellow, yellow yellow…GREEN the rear tires stand up from the acceleration and the dragster blasts down the track. The track is only allowing 1/8 mile runs today because of the weather and the King ran a low 4 second pass and in the high 140mph range!


The Gassers rumble in after the front engine dragsters finish their runs with an awesome array of vehicles from blown Willys coupes to Nailhead Henry J’s and 1940 Fords with small block Chevys all of which are running in the six to eight second range. A couple of cars that really stand out are the Paciello and sons Anglia and their Henry J that have been running strong all day.


The car show always has a nice variety of hotrods and customs from New England. One car that really stands out to me is a 1933-34 Ford that looks to be built back in the day. The Ford really shows its New England roots with the motorcycle style fenders, heavy channel and non-chopped roof. The car is chromed head to toe expecially the interior. The interior is wrapped in white diamond pleated vinyl and the headliner is held in place with custom chrome braces across the roof completing its 60’s style showrod look.



3 Responses to “Drag-n in the 50s”

  1. 1 derrickwood
    September 4, 2009 at 11:38 am

    This site is too cool! Nice writing and great shots. Keep it coming!

  2. 2 SuperCushion
    September 7, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I need a FED

  3. 3 SuperCushion
    October 4, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    There’s some bitchen videos on youtube of the King and Marshall rail running at Winterport dragway up in Maine.

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Matt Wood


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